PiFM @ Work

Combined PiFM image of a meteorite sample shows high concentration of organic compounds in a phyllosilicate-organic composite.

Meteorite – A Search for Organic Compounds

Molecular Vista’s technology deconvolves the chemical composition of a meteorite at the nanoscale. The study of the chemical composition of meteorites should answer important questions about the nature of our early solar system by allowing scientists to investigate the possibility of liquid water and complex organic compounds being a part of a meteorite’s matrix. Could meteorites be the seeds […] Read more

Hyperspectral PiFM studies of source rock clearly and powerfully demonstrate the technique's ability to distinguish between inorganic and organic components in geologic mixtures. The differentiation between materials even extends to subclassifications of organics: aliphatic vs. aromatic REF: Eichmann, S., Nowak, D., Jacobi, D., & Burnham, N. (2018). Nanoscale Hyperspectral Characterization of Source Rock in Unconventional Reservoirs using Photo-Induced Force Microscopy. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 24(S1), 1040-1041.

Nanoscale Chemical Composition of Source Rock

Resolving the Nanoscale Chemical Composition of Source Rock using Hyperspectral Photo-Induced Force Microscopy Source rock is a conglomeration of inorganic minerals –  e.g,  silicates and carbonates – interspersed with organic matter. Distinguishing the organic and inorganic phases may explain how nanoscale properties influence the properties of bulk rock. While topographic information (a) offers little compositional […] Read more

Agreement Between PiFM and Conventional IR Spectra

PiFM spectra generally replicate conventional IR spectra recorded from bulk samples, shown in this example of polyethersulfone (PES). Occasionally, slight shifts in peak wavenumber and amplitude are observed in PiFM spectra, arising from the extreme sensitivity of PiFM to localized populations of molecules. One strength of the PiFM method is capturing the behavior of materials […] Read more

PiFM image at 1469 1/cm that identifies the islands as asphaltene, highlighting the sensitivity of PiFM at distinguishing between similar chemical species.

Distinguishing Subtle Chemical Variants

The chemical mapping capability of PiFM is demonstrated in an asphalt sample containing multiple related components. Note in the accompanying spectra that the signal strength for maltene is lower than asphaltene except at ~1501 cm-1 (shown in dotted circles on both PiFM and FTIR spectra). This small difference is easy to overlook until rendered in […] Read more

PiFM Mapping of Silver Nanowires in Transparent Conductors

Mapping Silver Nanowires in Transparent Conductors

These transparent conductors are composed of silver nanowires embedded in clear plastic. AFM topography (left) displays those nanowires that contribute to surface morphology. However, buried nanowires do not appear in topographic images. PiFM imaging (right) does reveal the placement of embedded nanowires by taking advantage of the enhancement of the overlying acrylate polymer signal (1745cm-1) […] Read more

A single self-assembled icosahedral protein cage imaged via PiFM, 20 nm at 1666 1/cm.

Single Self-assembled Icosahedral Protein Cage

We develop a new technique called photo-induced force microscopy (PiFM), which allows us to image the chemical makeup of samples with extremely high spatial resolution. We spent some time to image isolated protein particles and obtained results that may be consistent with the design of the protein cage. A Single Self-assembled Icosahedral Protein Cage Imaged […] Read more

PiFM image of PTQ10: IDIC blend films with thermal annealing (TA) treatment.

Nature Communications Publishes PiFM Image of PSC

A new PiFM application paper showing FTIR spectra, PiFM and PiFM+topography images of a polymer solar cell (PSC) with thermal annealing treatment was published in “Nature Communications” by Chenkai Sun, Zhi-Guo Zhang and Yongfang Li, “A low cost and high performance polymer donor material for polymer solar cells.” (doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03207-x) PiFM measurements were taken by William Morrison from Molecular […] Read more

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